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New York Times Bestsellers
Week of August 18, 2019
FICTION
#1  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 49)  
Where The Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket   Delia Owens
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780735219090 Owens' (Secrets of the Savanna, 2006) first novel is a leisurely, lyrical tale of a young woman growing up in isolation in the 1950s and 60s, in a marsh on the North Carolina coast. Kya is abandoned by her troubled mother when she is only six. Soon after, her four, much-older siblings leave, as does her alcoholic father a couple of years later. As Kya matures and teaches herself to be a naturalist, she is torn between two slightly older boys: kind, observant Tate and rascally, attractive Chase. Chase dies falling from a fire tower in his twenties, and the investigation of his possible murder, which alternates with the story of Kya's coming-of-age, provides much of the novel's suspense. Because the characters are painted in broad, unambiguous strokes, this is not so much a naturalistic novel as a mythic one, with its appeal rising from Kya's deep connection to the place where she makes her home, and to all of its creatures.--Margaret Quamme Copyright 2018 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780735219090 In Owens's evocative debut, Kya Clark is a young woman growing up practically on her own in the wild marshes outside Barkley Cove, a small coastal community in North Carolina. In 1969, local lothario Chase Andrews is found dead, and Kya, now 23 and known as the "Marsh Girl," is suspected of his murder. As the local sheriff and his deputy gather evidence against her, the narrative flashes back to 1952 to tell Kya's story. Abandoned at a young age by her mother, she is left in the care of her hard-drinking father. Unable to fit in at school, Kya grows up ignorant until a shrimper's son, Tate Walker, befriends her and teaches her how to read. After Tate goes off to college, Kya meets Chase, with whom she begins a tempestuous relationship. The novel culminates in a long trial, with Kya's fate hanging in the balance. Kya makes for an unforgettable heroine. Owens memorably depicts the small-town drama and courtroom theatrics, but perhaps best of all is her vivid portrayal of the singular North Carolina setting. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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#2  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
The Inn
Book Jacket   James Patterson and Candice Fox
 
#3  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
The Turn Of The Key
 Ruth Ware
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#4  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 3)  
One Good Deed
 David Baldacci
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#5  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Outfox
Book Jacket   Sandra Brown
#6  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 4)  
The Nickel Boys
Book Jacket   Colson Whitehead
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780385537070 "As it had ever been with Nickel, no one believed them until someone else said it," Whitehead (The Underground Railroad) writes in the present-day prologue to this story, in which construction workers have dug up what appears to be a secret graveyard on the grounds of the juvenile reform school the Nickel Academy in Jackson County, Fla. Five decades prior, Elwood Curtis, a deeply principled, straight-A high school student from Tallahassee, Fla., who partakes in civil rights demonstrations against Jim Crow laws and was about to start taking classes at the local black college before being erroneously detained by police, has just arrived at Nickel. Elwood finds that, at odds with Nickel's upstanding reputation in the community, the staff is callous and corrupt, and the boys-especially the black boys-suffer from near-constant physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. Elwood befriends the cynical Turner, whose adolescent experiences of violence have made him deeply skeptical of the objectivity of justice. Elwood and Turner's struggles to survive and maintain their personhood are interspersed with chapters from Elwood's adult life, showing how the physical and emotional toll of his time at Nickel still affects him. Inspired by horrific events that transpired at the real-life Dozier School for Boys, Whitehead's brilliant examination of America's history of violence is a stunning novel of impeccable language and startling insight. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780385537070 There were rumors about Nickel Academy, a Florida reform school, but survivors kept their traumas to themselves until a university archaeology student discovered the secret graveyard. Whitehead follows his dynamic, highly awarded, best-selling Civil War saga, The Underground Railroad (2016), with a tautly focused and gripping portrait of two African American teens during the last vicious years of Jim Crow. There is no way Elwood Curtis would ever have become a Nickel Boy if he was white. Raised by his strict grandmother, Elwood, who cherishes his album of recorded Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, is an exemplary student who earns admission to early college classes. But trouble whips up out of thin air, and instead he is sent to Nickel, where the Black boys are barely fed, classes are a travesty, and the threat of sexual abuse and torture is endemic. As Elwood tries to emulate Dr. King's teachings of peace and forgiveness, he is befriended by the more worldly and pragmatic Turner, and together they try to expose the full extent of the brazenly racist, sadistic, sometimes fatal crimes against the Nickel Boys. Whitehead's magnetic characters exemplify stoicism and courage, and each supremely crafted scene smolders and flares with injustice and resistance, building to a staggering revelation. Inspired by an actual school, Whitehead's potently concentrated drama pinpoints the brutality and insidiousness of Jim Crow racism with compassion and protest.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: After the resounding triumph of Whitehead's previous novel, readers will avidly await this intense drama, a scorching work that will generate tremendous media coverage.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2019 Booklist
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#7  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
A Dangerous Man
 Robert Crais
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#8  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 4)  
The New Girl
 Daniel Silva
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#9  (Last Week: 6 • Weeks on List: 8)  
Summer Of '69
Book Jacket   Elin Hilderbrand
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316420013 Hilderbrand (Winter in Paradise) delivers a superb novel about the goings-on of a family during the summer of 1969 in Nantucket, centered on four siblings. Mother Kate Levin has taken to drinking after her only son, Tiger, is drafted and sent to Vietnam. Kate has agreed to let her family's longtime caretaker Bill stay on their property with his grandson Pick in exchange for using Bill's army connections to keep Tiger safe and away from the front. Blair, the eldest sibling, pregnant with twins, gave up a promising career and a shot at Harvard at the behest of her astrophysicist husband, Angus, who is preoccupied with the upcoming moon landing and has deep spells of depression; Blair flees to Nantucket when Angus says he cheated on her. Middle sister Kirby is trying to clear her head on Martha's Vineyard after getting arrested for protesting and ending an affair with a married man. She finds herself judged by the family of the man she's now seeing, likely, she believes, because of their interracial relationship. Jessie, the youngest, gets a crush on Pick and hits puberty as she bears witness to how shame and propriety drive her family members, and how they suffer because of it. The sisters manage to slay their own demons while finding strength in their siblinghood. Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family, and this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy both her fans and newcomers alike. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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#10  (Last Week: 8 • Weeks on List: 2)  
Chances Are ...
Book Jacket   Richard Russo
 


NONFICTION
#1  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 77)  
Educated
 Tara Westover
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399590504 Raised on a secluded family compound in Idaho, Westover was seven before realizing the biggest difference between her family and others was not their remote home, or their Mormon religion-but that "we don't go to school." Westover helped the family maintain a minimalist existence through construction, scrapping, and midwifery, no matter how many injuries she sustained. But when the author's wounds go untreated, leaving her mother mentally compromised and herself an object of abuse, cracks in her upbringing began to appear. Westover's brother Tyler is the first to leave home for college, later encouraging her to do the same. "There's a world out there, Tara...it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear." Starting her academic career at Brigham Young University, Westover continued to earn academic achievements, including a PhD in history from Cambridge University. VERDICT Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but for a student who started from a point of near illiteracy, Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style. With no real comparison memoir, this joins the small number of Mormon exposés of recent years. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," p. 29.-Ed.]-Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399590504 To the Westovers, public education was the quickest way to put yourself on the wrong path. By the time the author, the youngest Westover, had come along, her devout Mormon parents had pulled all of their seven children out of school, preferring to teach just the essentials: a little bit of reading, a lot of scripture, and the importance of family and a hard day's work. Westover's debut memoir details how her isolated upbringing in the mountains of Idaho led to an unexpected outcome: Cambridge, Harvard, and a PhD. Though Westover's entrance into academia is remarkable, at its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself: nowhere is this more powerful than in her relationship with her brother Shawn, her abuser and closest friend. In its keen exploration of family, history, and the narratives we create for ourselves, Educated becomes more than just a success story.--Winterroth, Amanda Copyright 2018 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399590504 A girl claws her way out of a claustrophobic, violent fundamentalist family into an elite academic career in this searing debut memoir. Westover recounts her upbringing with six siblings on an Idaho farm dominated by her father Gene (a pseudonym), a devout Mormon with a paranoid streak who tried to live off the grid, kept four children (including the author) out of school, refused to countenance doctors (Westover's mother, Faye, was an unlicensed midwife who sold homeopathic medicines), and stockpiled supplies and guns for the end-time. Westover was forced to work from the age of 11 in Gene's scrap and construction businesses under incredibly dangerous conditions; the grisly narrative includes lost fingers, several cases of severe brain trauma, and two horrible burns that Faye treated with herbal remedies. Thickening the dysfunction was the author's bullying brother, who physically brutalized her for wearing makeup and other immodest behaviors. When she finally escaped the toxic atmosphere of dogma, suspicion, and patriarchy to attend college and then grad school at Cambridge, her identity crisis precipitated a heartbreaking rupture. Westover's vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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#2  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Trick Mirror
 Jia Tolentino
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525510543 New Yorker contributor Tolentino debuts with a sharp, well-founded crackdown on the lies of self and culture in these nine original, incisive reflections on a hypercapitalist, internet-driven age that "positions personal identity as the center of the universe." While some essays peel back personal self-delusions-such as by recalling, in "Always Be Optimizing," how taking barre classes for fitness gave her the "satisfying but gross sense of having successfully conformed to a prototype" -others comment on broader cultural movements with frightening accuracy, for instance noting in "Pure Heroines" that "bravery and bitterness get so concentrated in literature, for women, because there's not enough space for [women] in the real world," or that the election of Donald Trump represents the "incontrovertible, humiliating vindication of scamming as the quintessential American ethos." The collection's chief strength is Tolentino's voice: sly, dry, and admittedly complicit in an era where "the choice...is to be destroyed or to morally compromise ourselves in order to be functional." While the insights aren't revelatory, the book's candid self-awareness and well-formulated prose, and Tolentino's ability to voice the bitterest truths-"Everything, not least the physical world itself, is overheating"-will gain Tolentino new fans and cement her reputation as an observer well worth listening to. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525510543 In her debut, New Yorker writer Tolentino turns a critical eye on herself and, in doing so, highlights the troubling images reflected in current American culture. These essays examine reality TV, physical optimization, rape culture, and more, and pieces about constructing identity on the Internet—from Geocities to Twitter trolling to the scam of the Fyre Festival—are especially timely and affecting. Tolentino's take on these topics is dark—the word nightmare is often used to describe the depressing effects of social media—and the author finds that an overriding theme is the desire to be seen, even if the image isn't always positive. Overall, she highlights how people must ignore the rot of the world in order to function day to day, which might be the most sinister thing of all. The book is thoroughly researched, and nearly every page contains a revelation about contemporary culture. Tolentino's writing is just personal enough to put a human aspect to her points, so that readers feel them intimately, and she admits her own unseemly qualities with the same attention by which she examines the rest of the world. The final essay on marriage lags behind what is otherwise a cutting, brilliant collection. VERDICT An incisive collection that cements Tolentino as one of her generation's greatest cultural critics.—Katy Hershberger, School Library Journal
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#3  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 39)  
Becoming
Book Jacket   Michelle Obama
#4  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 5)  
Three Women
Book Jacket   Lisa Taddeo
 
#5  (Last Week: 5 • Weeks on List: 14)  
The Pioneers
 David McCullough
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#6  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 12)  
Unfreedom Of The Press
 Mark R Levin
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#7  (Last Week: 6 • Weeks on List: 5)  
Justice On Trial
Book Jacket   Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino
#8  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 6)  
The Source Of Self-regard
Book Jacket   Toni Morrison
 
#9  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
The Mosquito
 Timothy C Winegard
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#10  (Last Week: 11 • Weeks on List: 12)  
Maybe You Should Talk To Someone
 Lori Gottlieb
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781328662057 Atlantic “Dear Therapist” advice columnist Gottlieb (Marry Him) draws on diverse experiences from her many years as a psychotherapist to offer a guided tour of the therapeutic process from the viewpoint of both therapist and patient. After experiencing an emotional crisis, Gottlieb struggles to come to terms with her own feelings, even as she continues working with long-term patients whose stories she blends into the narrative of her own; their questioning, search for meaning, and desires, guilt, and exploration of mortality all strike home as the author shares bravely open discussions with her therapist. ­Gottlieb finds herself learning powerful lessons from her patients as they untangle their emotional challenges while learning to understand her own self-image and what it genuinely means to be human. While this work nicely bridges the gap between patient and therapist, professionals in the field are advised to stick with the more solid substance found in the approaches of Victor Frankl, Carl Jung, Albert Camus, or Friedrich Nietzsche. ­VERDICT Written with grace, humor, wisdom, and compassion, this heartwarming journey of self-discovery should ­appeal to fans of Mitch Alborn and Nicholas Sparks. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18.]—Dale Farris, Groves, TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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